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Update to open access and research data management policy for postgraduate research students

The University of Exeter’s open access and research data management policy for postgraduate research students has been updated.  The existing PGR policy was almost two years old and in such a rapidly changing scholarly publishing environment was felt to be almost certainly out-of-date.  The policy was reviewed by Open Access and Data Curation staff and amendments suggested for approval by the Graduate Research Faculty Board.  The aims of the revision were:

  • To ensure the terms of the policy are consistent with current academic and funder guidelines;
  • To make the details of the policy clearer so that PGRs understand exactly what is required of them;
  • To eradicate any ambiguity by simplifying the language used;
  • To link to existing relevant documentation that underpins and clarifies elements of the policy.

Revisions to the policy were approved by the Board on 23/10/14 and the updated Version 3 has been uploaded to ORE.

As ever, if there are any questions, do get in touch with Open Access and Data Curation.

Data management plans – funder guides

Writing a data management plan (DMP) can be quite daunting, particularly if you haven’t had to write one before. At Exeter we already have a research data management website with guidance on writing DMPs. We also offer a service where we can advise researchers on draft DMPs.

In addition to these existing services we have now written a number of funder specific guides to help you write your DMP. These guides are adaptations of those previously created by the data.bris team at the University of Bristol.

We will update the guides from time to time to keep them up to date but if you have any feedback on them please feel free to email us at .

Data Management Plans

Many funders (RCUK, Wellcome etc.) now require that data management plans (DMPs) are included as part of the grant application process. Although the names may differ (for example the Arts and Humanities Research Council – AHRC – call their requirement a “Technical Plan”) the core requirements are very similar.

Areas covered in DMPS include: storage, back up, supporting documentation and metadata, long term storage and preservationsharing and legal and ethical issues.

If you are not sure how to complete your DMP or if you would like us to comment on a draft plan please contact and we will be happy to help you. If you would like us to comment on a draft we also like to see the Case for Support so that we can see the DMP in the context of the wider application. We ask for 10 working days to comment on a draft DMP but we usually reply within a few days.

We also provide a deskside service where we are able to come to your office and discuss your funder’s requirements with you. Contact if you would like to make an appointment.

Further information and help is also available on our website: http://as.exeter.ac.uk/library/resources/rdm/create/datamanagementplans/ and http://as.exeter.ac.uk/library/resources/rdm/create/datamanagementplans/datamanagementplanguidance/. Exemplar plans for ESRC and BBSRC are available via the former link.

Guidelines on Data Retention for EPSRC-funded Research Projects

All projects in receipt of EPSRC funding are required by the Council to comply with the requirements below.  All current and future researchers and research students funded by EPSRC are affected by the research data policy.

EPSRC-funded research data must be securely preserved for a minimum of 10 years.


  • Not all data needs to be preserved and not all data needs to be stored online.  Appraise and select data for retention carefully.
  • Deposit essential data in the University repository, ORE.  Essential data would normally cover:
    • Data underlying published research
    • Data required for validation, verification or replication of results
    • Data that is unique or significant to the community
  • If not suitable for open access data can be embargoed in ORE or held securely by the researcher/research group.
  • Data not held centrally in ORE should be stored following the guidelines available on the Library’s Research Data Management web pages.
  • Data should be uploaded via the ORE interface rather than via Symplectic.  NB.  The IT Infrastructure Team has developed a new data upload tool for transfer of large datasets to ORE.  In order to use this pilot tool contact  

Appropriately structured metadata (bibliographic information) describing the research data should be published on open access within 12 months of being generated.


  • Create a record in ORE describing your data and, where possible, upload the data itself.
  • If data cannot be made public a metadata-only record is acceptable but must contain details of the reasons for access restrictions, for example:
    • Commercially confidential
    • Contains sensitive personal information
    • Contains other information covered by the Data Protection Act
    • Contains third-party copyrighted or licensed material for which permission cannot be obtained
  • Metadata must be sufficient to allow others to find it by searching and to understand dataset contents and potential for re-use.  See an excellent example of a dataset record from the Marine Renewable Energy Group.

 Research data in non-digital format should be stored for the long-term in a format permitting access and re-use if required.


  • Follow University guidelines for storage of paper records.
  • Data containing confidential information should be kept in an access-controlled environment.
  • Consider digitisation of analogue data if feasible and legally permissible.

Published research papers should include a short statement describing how and on what terms any supporting research data may be accessed.


  • If you have already deposited your data in ORE include the handle (aka persistent identifier – equivalent to a DOI).  For example, http://hdl.handle.net/10871/682
  • If the data cannot be made openly available include contact details of the main author/PI in case of query.
  • Further advice can be found on the Library’s open access web pages.


The Open Access and Data Curation Team can advise and assist with queries relating to compliance with EPSRC policy, data storage, data upload and dataset description.  Contact us on


ORE Repository

EPSRC Policy Framework on Research Data

The Library’s Research Data Management web site

Exeter’s Information Security Policy

Open Access Week – drop in sessions

As part of International Open Access Week the University’s Open Access and Data Curation team will be holding a number of drop-in sessions commencing 21 October.  If any researchers, postgraduate students or Professional Services staff have questions about Open Access (e.g. funder policies, University policy, obtaining funding for Gold Open Access publishing) or Research Data Management (e.g. what is a data management plan and where can I go to for help in writing one?) the team will be available to answer your queries.

 We will be holding three sessions:

  • Wednesday 23 October – 1300-1600. XFI Board Room
  • Thursday 24 October – 1000-1300. XFI Seminar Room A
  • Friday 25 October – 1000-1300. XFI Seminar Room C

For more information please contact the team on .

New Research Data Management and Open Access Policy for MDC and CEDAR

Dr Anna Adlam, Senior Lecturer and Co-Director of the Centre for Clinical Neuropsychology Research (CCNR) in the School of Psychology has developed a research data management and open access policy for the Mood Disorders Centre (MDC) and Clinical Education Development and Research (CEDAR) at Exeter.

Following these guidelines will ensure that the data generated by MDC and CEDAR members are stored securely, will be reusable in the future, and can be shared easily amongst collaborators. Moreover they will help MDC and CEDAR members meet funder and/or institutional requirements on research data management and open access.

The policy is available in Open Research Exeter, along with the guidelines that the Marine Renewable Energy Group and the Centre for Cognitive Control and Associative Learning have created to ensure best practice in research data management in their research groups.

If your research group has a research data management policy that they would like to share with other groups, or if you are thinking of developing such a policy, please contact the Open Access and Data Curation Team on .

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